USNS Comfort hospital ship to now accept patients from N.J. hospitals, Murphy says

Some of the 1,000 beds on the Navy hospital ship that docked in New York City last week to help relive the stress on medical facilities treating people with the coronavirus will be allocated to patients from New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday,

Murphy announced at his daily coronavirus press briefing that New Jersey patients who need other types of treatment will soon be hospitalized on the USNS Comfort. The governor learned of the news just before the briefing in a phone call with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

“That’s a big step for us,” Murphy said. “I thank the president and the vice president.”

The ship arrived at Pier 90 in Manhattan from Virginia on March 30 to provide relief for New York City hospitals that needed space for people who tested positive for the coronavirus. New York leads the nation with the most coronavirus cases.

“By serving these emergency patients away from the hospitals, beds will be opened up all over the city for those who are infected,” Trump said last week. “This ship can handle a lot of people, so it will open capacity all over the city. And it will be ready to address any life-threatening medical emergency.”

The 70,000 ton Comfort has 1,000 hospital beds, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab, digital radiology, a CT scan, two oxygen-producing plants and a helicopter deck.

New Jersey has at least 41,090 cases of COVID-19, including at least 1,003 deaths, officials announced Monday.

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